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"I will shoot you." Kerri-Anne Kennerley details violence she suffered in first marriage.

We know her as the composed, polished, professional TV host and actress. Earlier this year, she was inducted into the Logies Hall of Fame for her work that’s spanned five decades on Australian television screens.

Rarely, we see the composure fracture.

On last night’s episode of Sunday Night, however, we did, as 64-year-old Kerri-Anne Kennerley spoke about the violence she says she endured in her first marriage and the moment she threatened her then-husband with a gun in a bid to stop the beatings.

“You know, you just realise that when somebody is 6”2’, crazy off their head — it doesn’t matter which room you run into, all you do is close your eyes and wait for it to be over” Kennerley said.

“It’s pointless. I think eventually you just go, ‘I think I will be dead’.”

Kennerley was married to American record producer for The Rolling Stones, James ‘Jimmy’ Miller.

“He was this really almost exotic, slightly mad, born-and-bred New Yorker. He built recording studios where I could record,” Kennerley said. “It was terribly glamorous. And I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and got reeled in.”

Kennerley told Seven she suffered black eyes and bloody noses and, on one occasion, had to spend the night in hospital on account of Miller’s violence.

Kerri-Anne Kennerley. Image via Sunday Night.
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Her story is one shared by millions of Australian women.

According to White Ribbon, one woman in Australia is killed every week by a partner or former partner, and domestic violence is the number one cause of homelessness in women and children.

Often it's a process. It happens gradually and you might not even notice it, until it's too late.

"Somebody controls every aspect of your life, everything you do, everything you say virtually, everybody you meet and your world gets smaller and smaller and smaller and it’s sort of really almost normal… but somewhere in there you know it’s not normal," Kennerley said.

“He was very abusive at times and you realise you can’t go on like that. But also, it’s really hard to get out."

Maria Lutz and her two children were gassed in their home by her husband. It’s the tragedy that stopped us in our tracks.

One night, Kennerley said she'd had enough.

She told Sunday Night that as Miller started to bully her, she went to find the gun hidden in the bedroom.

"He always had a .22 rifle above the door in the bedroom. So I just remember I was actually quite calm about it," she said. "I just went and got the gun, aimed it at him and said, 'I will shoot you'. I was in a lot of trouble."

Only one thing stopped her from pulling the trigger: the thought of spending 25 years in jail.

It was a turning point and the younger Kennerley began to distance herself from Miller.

In April this year, as Kennerley was inducted to the Logies Hall of Fame, she dedicated the honour to John Kennerley - her current husband who she's been married to for 33 years. He suffered a spinal injury in March last year, and she's been caring for him ever since.

In last night's interview, she said her marriage to John is the "happy ending" to "one hell of a story".

If this post brings up any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service.